A few years back Hillary Clinton wrote a book called, “It Takes a Village [to Raise a Child].” Today Alex turns three months old which marks the end of her fourth trimester and the end of the time that “experts” identify as the colicky months. I’m pretty sure the entire village showed up to help us make it through these first three months. There are a few people who deserve some public recognition though for going beyond what I could have imagined.
First, my mom. After our first week home with Alex, when Dave was about to go back to work and he was still working two jobs, I realized I couldn’t manage things on my own. Mom to the rescue! She came down weekly, not to take care of Alex, but to take care of me so I could be a good mom. She always left our fridge stocked with healthy meals for the rest of the week and made sure I was eating during the long days and nights. She’s the reason I got any sleep on some of the toughest days. Like the time she came down and held Alex for four hours without a complaint, in our cold, dark, basement, standing and pacing around the dehumidifier (the only technique that would keep Alex from crying at that point) so that I could eat, shower, and sleep. She would put her plans aside to come down and help, not with an agenda to just hold Alex during her happy times, but to help us survive. I hope I can pay this forward to Alex someday. Thank you Mom!
Next, thank you Kelly! It’s been a sanity saver to go through this together and hear that what I’m experiencing is normal and to swap some hilarious texts at 3am. Kelly turned us on to the Troublesome Tots website, which convinced us to buy our swing and gifted us hours of uninterrupted sleep. And she sent us the creepy white noise CD that is Alex’s favorite sleep music. Thank you, thank you.
Thank you Kerry, Jody, and Jennifer for bringing me lunch on days I might not have eaten it otherwise. Never again will I visit a family with a newborn and not show up with a meal. And thank you for sharing your mom wisdom or just saying things like, “My kids were like that,” to reinforce that what we were experiencing was normal.
Thank you to all the people who lent us baby gear but an extra special thank you to Lisa and Ted who were at our house in less than five minutes after my request went out with a bouncer and swing. Also to Eric who picked up the Baby Bjorne bouncer in Pewaukee and rushed it to our house, with lunch. This was the only piece of equipment that would keep Alex happy for a few minutes and would buy me enough time to shower. Hallelujah!
Thank you Amanda P. for bringing Dave and I dinner and for passing on her daughter’s cold weather clothes to keep Alex warm at the beginning of this cold summer.
Thank you to our doula, Emili. Not only did she help Dave and I survive a long labor, she didn’t forget about us afterward. She visited us a few weeks in and generously offered her continuous help and support.
And thank you to Aunt Amanda and Uncle Aaron, Alex’s godparents. Amanda who came over and held Alex so we could spend the afternoon replacing our broken sink. Aaron for grabbing the camera and taking the equivalent of professional pictures of Alex on her first day in the world. Such special photos we will cherish forever.
The kindness and generosity of people over the last three months has taught me a lot. I have so much respect and zero judgment for the moms of the world. I’ll be generous with my time to new parents and always bring food. And I will have complete empathy for parents who say they are sleep deprived and will actually understand what that means.
Thank you all. I’m looking forward to paying it forward someday. I finally get it.